Luther Season 3
Created by: Neil Cross
I realise that my post on season two was more a review of how much I enjoyed getting back into watching Luther, rather than that season of the show itself. After watching all 4 episodes of season 3 last night I’m now fully up to date in advance of the new episodes coming later today, and I’m happy to report that the standards have not slipped!
Always dressed in his ‘lucky’ coat, with a clear aversion to interior design, DCI John Luther (Idris Elba) heads the ‘Serious and Serial Crimes’ unit, so the cases he’s dealing with are expectedly dark, however I didn’t feel like they were gratuitously gory and there’s hardly any strong language. Because of the dark and serious tone I’m not sure I would recommend watching all 4 episodes in one sitting like I did, a little break is needed to breathe in between.
Again the show spans the antagonists story arcs over 2 episodes each, and the two main villains this time are again very different both from each other and the standard ‘murderer’ type often seen in procedurals. They are always given surprising levels of depth and complexity, with Luther having a real penchant for understanding how they’re thinking and seeing how their lives have led up to committing such shocking crimes.
Cleverly, it’s hard to be 100% certain of John Luther, though we believe he’s fundamentally good there are certain characters who raise the question of him having other motives, with Luther being under investigation. Some scenes are brilliant in reaffirming this niggling doubt, with Idris Elba’s performance brilliantly conveying so much, in just a slight pause or look we get a glimpse of his thought processes and wonder if he’s got more in mind than he’s letting on. THis year Idris Elba has got a Golden Globe nomination for this as ‘Best Performance by An Actor in a Miniseries’, up against big names who are also familiar faces on the big screen too but I think he’s in with a good chance of a win.
Avoiding spoiling too much (skip this paragraph if you really want to avoid anything), as I hoped for Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) makes an appearance in typical scene-stealing fashion. It’s beyond wonderful to see her back, no matter how briefly and again the best bits of the show are when we see them together. I absolutely love their unusual partnership with crossed wires and mixed goals, it underlines all the key elements of Luther’s character, she brings out both the best and worst in him. Where the final episode leaves them (smartly intercut with the end credits) both feels like a fitting ending if the series stops right there, or an exciting springboard from which to take the (now confirmed and pending) next chapter.
The last two episodes of this run were particularly dramatic and superbly well-written, which makes me see why next season is especially short with just two episodes, if they’re as good as those two will be fantastic. In the UK the new season starts tonight (then as a special one of event in just a few days in the U.S.) and I know where I personally want these new (potentially final) episodes to go, but I hope and expect to be surprised by what Neil Cross has up his sleeve.